Raffia Bags Are Going To Be Unavoidable In 2023

In 2022, thanks to the Y2K resurgence and interest in the clean girl aesthetic, fashion lovers turned to bags made in pastel colors, with vegan leather, and in somewhat unconventional shapes. The Telfar was mentioned in a song on Beyoncé's critically-acclaimed album "Renaissance," the Coperni Swipe was the It-girl bag, and Bottega's Mini Jodie reigned supreme. Now, with even more calls for sustainability in fashion and the search for locally-made, environmentally-friendly items, it is no surprise that a woven, biodegradable classic will be a big part of our closets in 2023.

Raffia is a natural, straw-like fiber from raffia palm leaves (per TheRoundup.org). Native to Madagascar and some parts of Africa, the material is lightweight, versatile, and easy to color or dye. For centuries, artisans used raffia to make furniture, baskets, and stylish bags too. Acclaimed designer Simon Porte Jacquemus has also found raffia to be fashion-forward, utilizing the material heavily in his spring 2023 show. And after raffia's moment on the runway, it's sure to have one more in full force come 2023. Here are a few ways to style and wear the evergreen material in the coming year.

Good totes, good thoughts

Tired of your sackcloth or leather tote bag and seeking something new? Try a raffia tote bag. Raffia is lightweight and compact and can be woven into totes of several sizes. For students looking to have enough room in their bags for books and a laptop, a raffia tote is a good buy for 2023. And for lovers of the beach who want enough room for their sunscreen and a change of clothes, a tote like the Raffia Tote Bag from Mango is both functional and cute.

A raffia clutch for a change

There's no better way to style a clutch purse in 2023 than to make it a woven one. Raffia clutches are just as versatile and come in several shapes and colors, such as the Tuda Design ELIF Raffia Clutch in beige and the Kechart Moroccan Clutch Bag, which is multicolored. They can even be studded with jewels and gems. You can wear a raffia clutch under your arm, as a wristlet, or you can attach a long strap and wear it across your chest (per Senreve).

A pop of raffia

Raffia bags are the in thing, but why stop there? There are many ways to add raffia to your outfit besides bags. Add raffia slippers to your outfit, like Abury's Sun And Moon pair. The slippers will add a summery vibe to your get-up.

Raffia belts are also an excellent addition for cinching your jumpsuits or dresses, and woven earrings, wide-brimmed hats, and woven bracelets are great ways to add additional pops of raffia to your look.

Round raffia bags for the win

Why not try a round raffia bag? Typically lined with satin or cotton and carried via an adjustable crossbody strap, this bag shape is convenient, compact, and versatile enough to style with most outfits in your closet. Try it with your favorite jumpsuit for the arcade, a flannel shirt and some jean shorts for the zoo, or a maxi dress for a picnic. You can also style your round bag as a clutch or shoulder bag by choosing one with wood handles, like the Calingo bag from Mappe Design.

Shoulder bags, but in raffia

After becoming mainstream again in 2022's Y2K resurgence, shoulder bags have become a big part of our closets. The good news is you won't have to drop yours in 2023 — just switch up its material.

Raffia makes for great shoulder bags, like the RUFFLES Raffia Shoulder Bag from Russell & Bromley London. Wear yours between your arm and side or by holding it like a handbag. According to Bolsieri Milano, you can also wear your shoulder bags in crossbody fashion if the straps are long enough.

Raffia bucket bags

Whether as a tote or a clutch, raffia is a show-stopper. It's the same with bucket bags, which are designed with wide, flat bottoms and deep interiors, like the Tropicalia Small Bucket Bag from Marni. According to Hozen, you can wear a raffia bucket bag as a crossbody, across the shoulder, or as a handheld bag. And just like raffia totes, bucket bags are great for activities like picnics, and trips to the zoo or the beach, as they are deep enough to contain all of your essentials.

Barrel bags are back

Similar to the round raffia bag and the bucket bag, yet also very different, barrel bags, as Senreve describes them, are elongated or oblong-shaped and make excellent conversation starters. They are also usually large enough to carry all your essentials. Some come lined with knapsack-like pockets like the Sabah Vegan Raffia Barrel Bag from UK-based brand Stelar, while others close with a latch. To style, pair your barrel bag with a floral print dress or clothes in warm or neutral earth tones (per Senreve).

Color it up

Brown and beige may be the more popular colors to see raffia bags in, but they come in many other colors as well. Teal, red, and even gray, you can wear raffia with any outfit in any color combination. If you need a place to start, the Pauline bag, from Madagascan brand Kaloes, comes in several colors, including fuchsia, orange, and turquoise. And if you'd prefer a smaller pop of color instead, try raffia bags with a colored flap or handle like Mango's Leather Flap Bag. You can also add color by attaching colorful tassels to your bag.